Local stores struggle to keep up with repairs

With more snow on the way, some hardware stores have seen customers who have already had enough of the winter. And for some, especially in recent days and weeks, they have seen an avalanche of customers.

Steve's Ace Hardware in Dubuque has their snowblowers front and center- ownership says after two significant snowfalls, people are already throwing in their shovels for snowblowers instead. (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)

Jason Carpenter, a co-owner of Steve's Ace Hardware in Dubuque, said the trend he has seen firsthand: customers are already sick of shoveling. Carpenter said they have had to restock their winter items multiple times to meet demand.

With piles of salt bags at the front door, shovels in the middle of the aisles, and snowblowers lined up from big to small, there is no escaping the thought of snow the moment a customer pulls into the parking lot.

Carpenter describes the winter months as a bit of a gamble, saying he and his staff have to do their best to compare sales and weather trends from years past to predict the weather in the future.

Since November of this winter season, predicting the weather has certainly been a challenge.

Carpenter said they receive shipments twice a week, and have already restocked on salt, snowblowers, and shovels- in addition to performing repairs on snowblowers that customers bring in.

Especially after the snow in the recent days, Carpenter said they have seen a lot of people bringing in snowblowers, or just buying new ones.

Despite the slow start to winter, at least some like Carpenter and his staff are just happy to plow through it.

Carpenter provided some peace of mind to interested customers: they have a number of snowblowers that just came in, and piles of salt stored. However, Carpenter says odds are, they will still have to get more soon.

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